Tuesday, August 30, 2011

To be or not to be : CTO - The difficult ones 04 d

Like all good 'never-ending' stories, this one continues.

Some time ago I received a very nice letter from someone in Slovenia.
Seeing the envelop with very nice odd shaped stamps made my heart jump.
Unfortunatly when I opened the letter, i only found CTO cancelled stamps.

They are all very nice, good quality stamps.
But the fact that they were just cancelled for philatelistic purpose only, and never had been used for sending letters, made me sad.
All stamps and sheets are still where they were when I received them... In the envelop.
Despite the effort this person did to send me a nice collection of stamps, it was not at all what I m collecting.

This often leads to discussions in swapping.
One presumes (s)he sends a nice collection of cancelled stamps, the other person can 't use any of the items in the collection. Then the first person gets angry because the sending was 'valuable' and swapping stops.

Slovenia CTO stamps and souvenir sheets

Another European country, known for high quality engraved stamps.... Austria.
You wouldn't expect it, but they have CTO as well.
Some examples who didn't make it to my collection, although clearly, nearly perfect cancelled.
Sorry... for me, return to sender ...

.... maybe it's me...
maybe I'm to difficult...
or not ?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Theme : Tintin (Kuifje) 06

On the day of this posting, August 29, 2011, a brand new sheetlet is issued by the belgian postal services.
Dedicated to the most famous Belgian ever.
Yes Tintin (Kuifje) is Belgian.

Since Spielberg decided to make a movie (or even a couple of movies) dedicated to 'our' hero, the hype only gets bigger.
The issued sheet is also dedicated to Tintin on the (television) screen and shows us a set of 10 different stamps with pictures taken from the albums or from the televisionseries or movies from the past.

The first line shows us two pics from the album : The Crab with the Golden Claws 
(album 1941 and animated movie 1947)
Second line, shows us an excerpt from the album : The black rocks
(album 1938 and animated movie 1961)

Third line is taken from two movies : The secret of the golden fleece (1961) and  The blue oranges (1964)

Second last line came from the very popular album : Tintin and the prisoners of the sun
(album 1949 - movie 1969)

Finally, the last line refers to the album : The blue lotus (album 1936 - animated movie 1991)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

German banknotes : 1914 - 48 issues 01

There is much to say about Germany and the German Empire in the 19th and 20th century.
When it comes to banknotes, the story becomes nearly endless.

A short overview of the banknotes issued from 1914 till the end of the second WW.

20 Mark

Germany KM 46 b - front
The story of this banknotes acually starts in 1906.
The first design was printed March 10, 1906.
It's easy to recognise, since the date is printed on the banknotes.

notes with the same design :
# 25a (10-3-06) with 6 digit serial n°
# 25b (10-3-06) with 7 digit serial n°
# 28 (8-6-07)
# 31 (7-2-08)
# 40a (21-4-10) with 6 digit serial n° - no WM
# 40b (21-4-10) with 7 digit serial n° - no WM
# 40c (21-4-10) Watermark "20 Mark"
# 46a (19-2-14) with 6 digit serial n°
# 46b (19-2-14) with 7 digit serial n°

The shown note, is the last issued note (date 19-2-1914 and 7 digit serial n°)

some details :

"Z" of "Zwei" on the front side of the note
"M" of "Mark" on the frond side of the note
Germany KM 46 b - back

Sweden : 11b Early issues - My kingdom for a crown

The second value of the 'crown and posthorn' series, is the 40 öre.

This stamp was printed in two versions as well (see 35 öre).
The first printing, July 1920 was corrected shortly after in November of the same year and from that second version, also an additional print was released in 1923.

40 öre

Type 1

40 öre, type 1 (July 1920),

details of type 1:
straight line under '4'
no additional decoration in the left side of the crown
Type 2

The printing of November 1920 is light blackish olive-green, the version of October 1923 is light olive-green.
Value of the 1920 T2 is about 4 times the value of the 1923 T2. (according Facit - catalogue)

Type 2 (Oct. 1923)
Type 2 (Nov. 1920)

details of the type 2:
bottom line of the '4' is not a straight line
additional line in left side decoration of the crown

Sweden : 11a Early issues - My kingdom for a crown

It should have been 'my kingdom for a horse', but since there are no horses depicted on this series, I had to swap the horse for a crown.

A well-known set from Sweden, is the 'crown and posthorn' series.
On first sight, there are 14 different stamps in this set, going from 35 öre to 145 öre.
But if you have a closer look, there is much more to be discovered.

35 öre yellow

Type 1

The 35 öre yellow, was issued in 1922 and reprinted in 1925.
The second printing was slightly different then the first printing, so that makes the stamp devide into two types.

Type 1 - issued in 1922, cancelled in 1925
If we have a closer look to the 'öre' at the right bottom of the stamp, we'll see a curvy line of the 'R'
in type 2, this line is straightened.
detail 1, curvy line in 'öre'

Next to the 'T' in the word 'POST', the grid of the background is incomplete, resulting in a white spot, next to the 'T". This was corrected in the 1925 version.
detail 2, white spot next to T upper right corner
Type 2
Type 2, issued in 1925
two details of the corrected errors from the 1st issue :

detail 1, straightened line in the 'R'

detail 2, no white spot in the grid next to the 'T'

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Microstates : 13 República Saharaui (bogus)

The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)‎  is a partially recognised state that claims sovereignty over the entire territory of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony. SADR was proclaimed by the Polisario Front on February 27, 1976 in Bir Lehlu, Western Sahara. The SADR government currently controls about 20-25% of the territory it claim.s It calls the territories under its control the Liberated Territories or the Free Zone. Morocco controls and administers the rest of the disputed territory and calls these lands its Southern Provinces. The SADR government considers the Moroccan-held territory occupied territory, while Morocco considers the much smaller SADR held territory to be a buffer zone.

48 countries have recognised the SADR as an independent country.
However no European state has diplomatic relations with the SADR.
Important countries, such as India and Peru, have even redrawn their diplomatic relations with the SADR.
Other countries (such as Colombia and Paraguay) are waiting till a political solution is found for the disputed area.

What about UPU ?
The 'state' isn't recognised by UPU, so unfortunatly, it sould be considered as 'bogus'.

It wasn't so hard to find out, since all the stamps of Saharaui (formerly Spanish Sahara) are CTO cancelled, and have typical designs and printing qualities as most CTO emitting countries in the 70's and 80's (Laos, Nicaragua, Cuba, ...)
The shown 'stamps' cinderellas are in old spanish 'pesetas'.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

To be or not to be : CTO - The difficult ones 04 c

Scandinavian countries are very much in demand, at least for european collectors. They are well known for having superb designs, high quality engraved stamps. And also a wel tempered issuing program.
And therefor it's unlikely to have CTO stamps from those countries.
Yet, they do exists, unfortunatly.

If you don't mind having artificially cancelled stamps in your collection, you might like the following examples.
For me, I rahter avoid them in my collection. But sometimes (like for souvenir sheets, blocks, ...) it's the only way to get them in your collection.

A small selection :

Sweden - CTO cancel with gum
Exhibition cancel - stockholmia 1.7.1955
Sweden souvenir sheets - perfect cancellation, but CTO
Sweden souvenir sheets - perfect cancellation, but CTO

Denmark blocks of 4 - CTO cancel

Denmpark booklet of 10 - CTO cancel

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sweden : 10 Early issues - Gustav, Gustav and Gustav

Guess who I will discuss in this topic?
Olav? Lars? No, it will be Gustav.

In 1920, King Gustav V appreared on a new design.
It's a limited series of 3 stamps, depicting King Gustav V with full face.
The 3 stamps are 10 öre, 15 öre and 20 öre.

The 10 and 20 öre exist perforated vertically and on 4 sides, the 15 öre only perforated vertically.
Both 10 and 20 öre can be found with and without wavy-lines watermark, the 15 öre is unwatermarked.

More Gustav ...

Also in 1920, a single stamp of Gustav II Adolf, of 20 öre is emitted.
The stamp can be found perforated vertically and on all sides; both with and without watermark.
The ones with watermark are more valuable.

And finally... Gustav ...

One year later, in 1921, another "Gustav" appears on Swedish stamps.
This time it's Gustav I Eriksson Vasa, in remembrance of the 400th anniversary of the Liberation War (ca. 1550).
This stamp comes in 3 values, 20 öre, 110 öre and 140 öre.
All perforated vertically only and with and without watermark.

The 20 öre stamp (not depicted) is the most valuable of the 3.

To be or not to be : CTO - The difficult ones 04 b

Sometimes I wonder, how many stamps are actually still used for sending a letter or a card?
Even used stamps are getting scarce, and only cancels on demand seems to appear on countries that always have been know for being 'thrustworthy'.

More cancels on demand :

Ireland, beautiful set, CTO cancels - unused stamps

Ireland, a stamp from the same set, postally used

Ireland, beautiful stamps, beautiful cancels, but CTO - unused stamps

The Netherlands, stamps in pairs, CTO cancel - stamps unused
Belgium - exhibition cancel (see: filateli...) - CTO - unused - no more gum
Belgium - 1st day cancel - CTO - unused - no more gum